Ukrainians prioritize citizenship over other types of identity – poll

Currently, 85% of the population of Ukraine consider themselves first of all citizens of their country: since Ukraine regained independence in 1991, this indicator has almost doubled.

That’s according to a recent survey run by the Kyiv International Institute of Sociology (KIIS), Ukrinform reports.

Asked how they identify themselves, as regards territorial political contexts, almost 85% of respondents opted for “citizen of Ukraine.”

At the same time, among various population strata, in different age, regional, linguistic, ethnic, gender, and territorial groups— the indicator remained almost the same. Among residents of the East, 81% see themselves primarily as citizens of Ukraine, among Russian-speaking Ukrainians, the share is also 81%, and among Russian-speaking ethnic Russians it’s 78%.

A little more than 6% identify as residents of their locality or region. Almost 4% refer to themselves as citizens of the world or Europe. Another 3% consider themselves primarily a representative of their ethnic group or a nation, while 0.9% of respondents identify as former “USSR citizens.”

According to KIIS data, throughout the years of Independence, the civic identity of Ukrainians increased almost twice — from 45.6% to 84.6%, thus pushing all other types of identity to the fringe in both the territorial and political contexts.

Doctor of Sociological Sciences Serhiy Dembitsky noted that there were three stages of the so-called civic mobilization in Ukraine. The first took place against the background of the revolutionary upheaval in 2004 and led to a significant strengthening of civic identity, while failing to initiate sustainable evolutionary changes in Ukrainian society in this direction.

The second mobilization took place against the background of revolutionary events of 2013. This set in motion a sustained positive evolutionary change in the adoption of civic identity, which moderately increased over the next eight years. Local and regional identities became secondary for the Ukrainians, although they maintained a relatively high prevalence.

The Russian Federation’s full-scale aggression against Ukraine triggered yet another revolutionary change in the attitude to civic identity, in which other variants of territorial or political ones were marginal or auxiliary.

“I expect that from now on, subject to the stable democratic development of Ukraine, the civic identity will not fall below 75%,” added Dembytskyi.

The survey was conducted during July 6-20 by computer-assisted telephone interviews based on a random sample of mobile phone numbers from among 2,000 respondents living across Ukraine.